For a long time, my sister has been a better person than me. I don’t say this in a self deprecating way, she’s better than most people. When she was explaining to the babysitter that our mom did NOT usually give us that much ice cream, I punched her in the face. When I was saying yes to peer pressure, she was deciding which college scholarship would be the best long term move for her. When she was in the church choir at college, I was in the back of a squad car. Needless to say I’ve almost always had an elevated opinion of her. So imagine my surprise and confusion when I went to see her play in Washington D.C. (Hexagon Theatre’s “What So Proudly We Bailed.” All the proceeds went to charity. The theatre was not shaped like a hexagon. Freaking liars) and my saintly sister comes out for a musical number dressed in nothing but a Playboy bunny outfit and a smile. My memory of what happened afterwards is fuzzy, what with the blinding rage and all, but I remember a few specifics.
I’d like to say I briefly considered killing everyone in the theatre who had set eyes upon her, but I have to be honest. I considered it for a LONG time. I considered it in the theatre, I considered it after the show, I even considered it on the car ride back to Philadelphia. I also recall a cat-call coming from the corner of the theatre when she came on stage. My instincts got the better of me and I stood up in my seat, scanning the audience for the source of the noise so I could mute him by punching his mouth through the back of his head. Thankfully my friend Maggio was there with me, and he had the sedatives ready for just such an occasion. I woke up 15 minutes later and enjoyed the rest of show, which I must admit was very funny. It was like the Daily Show, but with music…and an audience composed of liberals age 45-80.
When I got back home and tried to purge the image from my head by dousing my brain with alcohol, I stumbled upon a realization (truth be told, I stumbled on a lot of things that night). What if my sister was as pure and saintly as I imagine her to be? I probably wouldn’t even be able to spend time with her.
Me: Hey Julia, do you want to see a movie?
Julia: Sorry Fran, I have to pray for the poor tonight.
Me: Hey, you wanna’ grab a bite?
Julia: Not when so many around the word are wanting…
Me: Are you going to be around tomorrow?
Julia: No, I have to martyr myself for the betterment of humanity.
Sufficed to say, it would be a drag. So it occurred to me, maybe I don’t need a saint for a sister. I’ll settle for a good person. And I can rest easy in the knowledge that despite the fact she’s not a saint, she is still better than the rest of us.
The lesson of the table
4 weeks ago